The Centre welcomes Rianne de Heus who is visiting the FFCMH from The Netherlands to work as postdoctoral research fellow for 6 weeks. During her stay at the FFCMH, Rianne is working with Dr Phillip Tully to explore the association between blood pressure variability and brain health, especially dementia and cognitive impairment. It was recently demonstrated that instability in blood pressure over time (i.e. fluctuation and wide variation) is important for the prediction of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Rianne is researching whether high variability in blood pressure increases the risk of developing dementia and cognitive decline; combining datasets from around the world as part of the VARIABLE BRAIN, COSMIC and IALSA consortia. Rianne will be based in SAHMRI for the next 5 weeks, after which she will continue working on this project in the Netherlands.

Rianne is supported by an Alzheimer’s Netherlands Foundation post-doctoral fellowship. Rianne is based at the Radboud University and Medical Center in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She recently completed her doctoral thesis and expects to have the public defense of her work in June 2020. During her PhD, Rianne studied the role of blood pressure and cerebral blood flow in older people with cognitive impairment and dementia. Rianne investigated whether high variability in blood pressure is also a factor involved in cognitive impairment. She showed, amongst others, that higher visit-to-visit and day-to-day blood pressure variability is associated with an increased rate of cognitive and functional decline in older people with Alzheimer’s disease. This week her latest paper was published, looking at the association between cerebral small vessel disease and day-to-day blood pressure variability:

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There is clear evidence that supervised exercise not only reduces side effects of treatment but it improves the length of survival of men being treated for advanced prostate cancer. Supervised, individually prescribed exercise for people with chronic conditions including cancer should only be provided by exercise physiologists, to ensure safety and effectiveness. The costs and lack of access to exercise physiology services are however barrier to uptake.
One of the remits of the FFCMH is to improve men’s access to health services that meet their needs and preferences. FFCMH PhD candidate, Ms Holly Evans, who is a practicing exercise physiologist, is passionate about delivering exercise therapy to those who need it and she has developed a free on-line Exercise (prescription) Guide for men with advanced prostate cancer.
After three years in development, Holly and colleagues from the Edith Cowen University in Perth, WA have, in January 2020, started recruiting men into a 12 month national clinical trial to formally evaluate their on-line Exercise Guide. The prescribed exercise is tailored to the individual man, using inbuilt algorithms. The trial aims to determine if a tool such as this is safe and acceptable, as well as observing the effects on physical activity levels, physical function, quality of life, and fatigue.

Who can participate: We are looking for men who have metastatic prostate cancer who are not already participating in both resistance and aerobic exercise on a regular basis. Clearance from your physician (general practitioner, medical oncologist, radiation, oncologist or urologist), as well as internet access is also required.

What do you need to do? You will need to complete assessments at the start of the study and one nine weeks later. They are not too burdensome. You will also be randomly allocated to one of two groups. One that receives access to the online exercise guidance tool straight away, or one that receives access after the second batch of assessments.

To compensate you for your time, you will receive a $25 voucher for each assessment segment you complete (there are a maximum of five different types).

For further information: If you would like to know more about the study, contact Ms Holly Evans on 08 8128 4043 or or

you can find out more information and express your interest in participating via the study website:


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The Centre Management Group is very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Melissa Opozda to the position of Freemasons Men’s Health Post-doctoral Research Fellow. This is the 13th Fellowship funded by the Freemasons Foundation.

Melissa is a also a health psychologist working in private practice and has been a post-doctoral researcher in the FFCMH since 2017.

Melissa has experience in quantitative and qualitative health psychology research, individual and group health psychology interventions, and student and health professional training and education. Her research and clinical interests lie mostly within health psychology, focusing on men’s health, adjustment to chronic and acute conditions, eating and other health-related behaviours, obesity and overweight, bariatric surgery, psycho-oncology, and addiction.  Melissa has also worked in research in general practice and nursing research settings.

As a clinician and researcher, Melissa aims to apply her expertise in men’s health, health behaviour change, and primary health care to build on and translate the knowledge generated within FFCMH into the delivery of effective health services that meet the needs and preferences of men. This program will complement and broaden FFCMH’s existing work in men’s health.


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We congratulate Dr Prabin Gyawali on being awarded his PhD and for receiving the Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. Dr Prabin Gyawali BSc, MSc, PhD Thesis:  Sex Hormone Binding Globulin – Regulation and role as a marker of chronic disease risk Supervisors: Professor Gary Wittert, Dr Sean Martin, Professor Leonie Hielbronn Summary: Until now Sex […]

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We congratulate Dr Amy Finlay on being awarded her PhD and for receiving the Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. Amy Finlay BPsychSci, BHlthSc (Hon), PhD Thesis:  Prostate Cancer Health and Fitness Online: The development and pilot testing of an internet physical activity program for prostate cancer survivors. Supervisors: Dr Camille Short and Professor Gary Wittert […]

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The Centre congratulates Dr Rayzel Fernades on being awarded her PhD. Rayzel Fernandes BSc, MSc, PhD Thesis: The role of microRNA-194 in prostate cancer progression Superviors: Dr Luke Selth, Dr Theresa Hickey, Prof Wayne Tilley Summary: Rayzel’s project characterised the function of a small non-coding RNA molecule, microRNA-194 (miR-194), in prostate cancer. Using cutting-edge genomic […]

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Bunnings stores run regular Tradie Breakfasts to thank their Trade  customers for their business. Bunnings Munno Para West welcomed the opportunity for the Centre to partner with them on a breakfast with a difference in September. Men were given a goodie bag that included healthy lifestyle information including the CSIRO total well-being diet for men […]

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The Centre congratulates Dr Adel Aref on being awarded his PhD and for receiving the Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. Adel Aref MBBCh, ESMOc, SCMO (UK), PhD Thesis:  Defining the role of lipids and metabolic factors as risk factors for prostate cancer incidence and aggressiveness. Supervisors: Prof Lisa Butler, Dr Andrew Vincent, Dr Michael O’Callaghan, […]

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Since September 2019, 14 Young Blood podcasts have been produced and released by Callum MacPherson and Podbooth on Apple ITunes ( and other podcast platforms (Blubrry, Listen Notes, Google, Podtail, Sticher) and promoted via Facebook , Instagram and Twitter. An industry set successful podcast is 100 – 500+ downloads per month (per episode), to annex […]

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The Centre congratulates the following students on their FFCMH Summer Vacation Scholarship award. Mr Hendrew Duvenage (MBBS, 5th Year, The University of Adelaide) Project: Relative contribution of novel predictors to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Australian men. Supervisor: Prof Gary Wittert, Dr Sean Martin, Dr Andrew Vincent Ms Ser Yee Ang (BPsychSc 3rd […]

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